Monday night the Elmore County Commission voted to stand firm against the rate increases at the toll bridges. Chairman Joe Faulk admits the resolution has no legal muscle but commissioners plan to milk it for all it's worth.
"We'll work with our local legislative delegates and use political pressure," said Faulk.
Alinda Roads, LLC, is the company that owns the Emerald Mountain and the Alabama River Parkway toll bridges. Alinda Roads announced last week that it plans to raise the tolls by 50 cents beginning March 1. Company CEO Gordon Jarvis told WSFA 12 News that "there's not much he can say. I understand the commission's need to support its citizens." Jarvis added, "We made some difficult business decisions and we stand by them."
"We understand that Alinda Roads is a private company but the roads leading to the toll bridges are county roads and we feel like we should have had a say in these matters," said Commissioner Faulk.
Jarvis, meantime, says the company is still interested in talking with commissioners from Montgomery and Elmore Counties about revenue sharing. According to Elmore County tax records, Alinda Roads holds the mortgage of $34 and a half million dollars on the Emerald Mountain toll bridge and $75 million on the Alabama River Parkway toll bridge. Quite a profit for Jim Allen who spent just over $13 million building both bridges.